I have just returned from a inspiring corporate team building event held at The Four Pillars Oxford Spires Hotel.
We were invited to tender by a large government organisation in January for this event and against 11 other tenders, we won the opportunity to manage this two day team event which was great news!
Thirty two guests from Manchester and London offices joined Team Tactics on Tuesday for a morning of contemplation and facilitation which would hopefully give them clear goals for the future, overcome any obstructions they were facing in their roles and go back to their respective offices working more effectively together towards a shared goal.
With a superb facilitator, Sean he has the ability to observe and ascertain where the problems are, draws these out into the open and then allows the delegates to create positive solutions to them they took part in the excellent For Whom The Bells Tolls activity which is a half day event designed to bring teams working on one project together at the end as a whole and it worked perfectly. The challenge is to build structures which are joined together at the end to tell a story. The group threw themselves into the activity and at the end all said although it had been a challenge, they had really enjoyed themselves and felt that the morning session had helped them to work more effectively in the afternoon.
A well deserved private dinner followed and another activity Gameshow Mania. In between each course, each table/team takes part in the following 3 quiz shows: Who Wants to be a Millionare, Deal or no Deal & The Weakest Link. Of course, it’s not that simple as a couple of costumes per table are also issued and must be worn! This is a great activity when time is an issue in the evening and also for guests who may not want to take part as they can take a back seat in the fun if they want. Again, the group with several larger than life characters to keep the comedy element going! Really seemed to get involved and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the evening unfold!
The next day dawned grey and rainy and although a couple of guests were feeling slightly jaded from a night in the bar, most of the delegates were raring to go on the final activity – The Italian Job.
Sean took a short time to remind them of the principles they had agreed on the day before and to make sure they continued to apply them during the rest of the day and of course back in the office!
Then the teams were given their backpacks filled with clues, grid reference maps, compass and various other items and unleased on their mini car for the morning. The Italian Job is great for groups as it gets them out and about in the chosen venue area whilst ensuring that teams feel fired up and work together due to the competitive nature and timed session. After 3 hours minis screeched into the hotel car park with teams desperate to be the first ones back to increase their points.
A sandwich lunch ended the activities and then the group, in order to offset their carbon footprint in the morning, planted trees within the hotel grounds which is a super idea and really worthwhile. A coach back to the train station ended a really great event.
Having spoken to most of the delegates prior to leaving, I was thrilled to hear that they had all had a superb time and had felt that this event for them had been the most worthwhile out of all the others they had done in previous years! That is music to an Event Director’s ears!!
I must say a very big thank you to the hotel staff. This morning on my return I found myself in the rare position of wanting to thank the hotel and ensure senior management were aware of the absolute gems they had working for them.
The Four Pillars Oxford Spires Hotel is without doubt, a real find and I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking for a venue.
Easily accessible by train from London, large grounds to hold outdoor activities, indoor pool and gymnasium, Oxford town centre only a short walk away, seriously good food for both carvery lunch and dinner, very reasonable rates as out of London AND superb, friendly staff – what more could you want.
From the moment we confirmed the booking, any request was dealt with efficiently by Hannah, upon arrival my every need was catered for (often before I needed to ask) by Antonio and Janet and the restaurant staff Rodney and Alan bent over backwards to accommodate my group. We also had a very ill lady and Clare and Claudia immediately found a room for her to stay in until she was ready to leave and there was no extra charge!!!
As someone who visits many hotels during the year I have a very critical eye and am usually disappointed on one or more items however, I was extremely pleasantly surprised to say I could not find a fault! Well done to the team there who worked so hard!